Such A Night

P1170870

The much reported snow and ice barely made it to this part of the West Coast, although when it did arrive it was oddly localised and, for example, Silverdale got quite a bit more snow than nearby Lancaster. These photos are from a quick walk on the Wednesday. We’d had one very heavy flurry of snow on the Tuesday evening and some more lighter falls thereafter and by Wednesday morning we had quite an accumulation. Not sufficient to keep us at home, sadly. The sun shone for much of the day and although it was cold, much of the snow had thawed by the time I got out for a late circuit around The Cove and The Lots.

P1170876

Redshanks.

P1170873

P1170879

Inevitable Cove sunset.

image

Ashmeadow House.

Later, I took A to Arnside for a piano lesson and had time for a short, and very chilly, stroll along the promenade and beside the River Kent.

image

I should probably explain the convoluted way in which I arrived at the post’s inappropriate title: for the previous post which eventually ended up accompanied by ‘True Love Travels on a Gravel Road’, I also considered ‘Walk On Guilded Splinters’ and although I eventually rejected that choice, I then found myself listening to a few other Dr John songs, including, eventually, ‘Such A Night’….

Advertisements
Such A Night

Henry’s Pebble Art

P1170832

The day after our Garburn Pass outing. I had to wait in for a plumber (who embarrassingly, when he eventually turned up, spent about two minutes tightening a nut, or tightening something anyway, barely long enough to drink his cup of tea). But I digress: as I said, I had to be in for the plumber in the early afternoon. In the morning, it rained, but I steeled myself and went for a wander anyway, just around the local lanes. It wasn’t particularly pleasant; one of our friends even took pity on me and stopped his car to offer me a lift, but I enjoyed being out, cocooned in my waterproofs. Eventually, it even slacked off, and then dried up altogether.

Close to the Wolfhouse Gallery, I spotted a Tree-creeper, the first I’ve seen for a while. I even tried to take a photo, but with just the camera phone and the gloomy conditions and a very shy bird, that was always doomed to failure.

These Cyclamen…

image

…flowering on the verge on Lindeth Road were a little more obliging.

By the time our boiler’s leak was fixed, the weather had changed dramatically. I still had time for a turn around Eaves Wood…

P1170809

Silverdale from Castlebarrow. Note the snow on the Bowland Fells.

Before heading down to the Cove, for once, timing it right to arrive shortly before the sunset.

P1170820

Recently, there always seem to have been much the same birds evident on the muddy beaches by the Cove. A group of Shelduck, as many as forty sometimes, but just a couple on this occasion. A large flock of Oystercatchers, sitting in a tight group, in the same spot each time, out along the stream which flows away from the Cove. And some small waders closer in shore, I assume Redshanks.

P1170829

P1170836

This pebble art was on one of the benches on the cliff path above the Cove.

image

I haven’t posted it to FB, because I’ve always hoped that my posts there are private and only accessible to my friends. So I’ve posted it here instead, where perhaps it won’t get the exposure which the obviously talented Henry deserves, but maybe, somehow or other, the images will find their way back to Henry. Feel free to pass them on in any way which you feel is appropriate.

 

Henry’s Pebble Art

Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

Untitled

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 23.21.21

“The forecast for tomorrow shows every kind of weather, what a cop out.”

This was A, on Saturday evening; she knows how much this symbol winds me up on a long range forecast, suggesting, as it does, some straddling of the fence from the meteorologists. Of course, it could also imply that the weather is destined to be very mixed. That’s exactly how Sunday turned out.

No ‘Listed Lancaster’ posts from last week, not because I didn’t get out for any lunchtime strolls – although I was restricted a little, it was a busy week – but because when I did get out the weather was always gloomy and not really ideal for photographs. I particularly enjoyed my walk on Wednesday, when we had snow, but even the photos I took then are  rather grim and monotone.

Saturday too was very wet, but it did finally brighten a little late on, and I abandoned the second half of Ireland’s cakewalk against Italy to make the most of it. Not much to show for it in terms of photos of views or leaves or sunsets etc, but every walk seems to throw up something, in this case a wet poster…

Untitled

Long-suffering readers will know that I have become quite interested in Thomas Mawson and his gardens, which have featured on this blog a number of times. I’m hoping that I will be free on the evening of this lecture. If not, there were plenty of other things to choose from: a talk on ‘Bees in Your Garden’, another on ‘Sweet Peas’ and a third on ‘An Underwater Safari in Morecambe Bay’, music at the regular ‘Bits and Pieces’ event at the Silverdale Hotel, the John Verity Band appearing soon at the same venue, and, at The Instititute, Lancaster Band The Meter Men, who play Hammond Organ infused funk and are, in my opinion, superb. And that’s just a small selection of the entertainment on offer, seen through the filter of my own interests. Silverdale it seems, like Stacy’s Mom, ‘has got it going on’.

Anyway, back to Sunday: I set off, as I often do, without a clear idea of where I was going. Initially though, I chose to climb to the Pepper Pot on Castlebarrow, to take a look at the clouds racing past. I went via the Coronation path because I knew that would take me past the Snowdrops which featured at the top of the post.

From time to time, new paths seem to appear in Eaves Wood, a reflection, I suppose, of how many people regularly walk there. Whenever I walk past one, I wonder where it goes and resolve that, next time I’m out, I’ll find out. On Saturday I finally acted on that impulse. The first path I followed cut a corner between two paths which I know well. Even so, I felt very pleased to have taken it and I’ve been back and walked it again since.

From Castlebarrow I followed the path along the northern edge of Eaves Wood, beside the wall which marks the boundary between Lancashire and Cumbria. I met a couple walking their dog, who emerged from the trees at the side of the path. Looking back from where they’d come I thought I could detect the thinnest of thin trods, a hint of a path. Naturally, I followed it and it brought me to a drystone wall, in a spot where an old ants’ nest against the wall made it easy to scramble over. It was evident that people had climbed the wall here. I could see that just beyond the wall was the rim of Middlebarrow Quarry…

P1170772

Silverdale Moss, Scout Hill and Farleton Fell from Middlebarrow.

The quarry is huge, but is well concealed from most directions. Again, I thought I could see a path heading along the edge of the quarry. In all the years I’ve been here I’ve never walked around it. It is private land, but it’s not a working quarry anymore and I can’t see what harm could be done by wandering around. So I did.

Untitled

Middlebarrow pano. Click on it to see enlarged version.

The path turned out to be a bit sketchy in places. And it was easy to lose where there was limestone pavement…

Untitled

Some of the pavements were coated in moss, others had grass growing over them, which made it hard to see the grykes.

True to form, the weather threw everything at me: rain, sleet, hail, but odd moments of sunshine too.

P1170775

There’s a ninety metre contour somewhere around the rim of the quarry, making it the highest point on the limestone hill on which Eaves Wood sits. It’s certainly a good view point for Silverdale Moss and I shall be back here again.

P1170780

Whitbarrow catching the sun.

Untitled

I took this photo in an attempt to show the heavy snow which was falling. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Untitled

And this one to show the state of many of the paths after the wet weather we’ve endured.

Untitled

By the time I was leaving the woods, the snow had stopped again.

I timed my walk to arrive back to watch England squeak past Wales in the rugby by the finest of margins.

Then I was out again. Since it was still cloudy, and I knew I was too late for the sunset, I only took my ‘new’ phone with me and not my camera.

Untitled

I never learn!

Untitled

The colours were subtle, pastel shades, but very pleasant none-the-less.

Untitled

Always good to finish a day (and a post) with a colourful sunset, if you can.

Untitled

Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

Hutton Roof Crags from Holme

Not ‘Hutton Roof Crags from Home’ which is a post which I shall one day get around to, just as soon as I’ve found time to fit in a walk of that description, but rather an ascent of Hutton Roof from the village of Holme. I’ve added not one, but two maps at the bottom of the post to show my route, but it was, in brief: an overly long wander through Holme (thanks to a daft choice of parking spot); through Curwen Woods and past a house with, I’ve since discovered, gardens designed by Thomas Mawson; through the tiny hamlet of Clawthorpe; up through Lancelot Clark Storth to the top: down across Uberash Plain to pick up the path which skirts the north side of Holme Park Quarry; and finally a road walk in the dark back to the car.

Since this was an afternoon walk, after a Rugby match in the morning, I didn’t set-off until around two-thirty and initially was in no mood to stop to take photos. Until three signs on the one gate had me chuckling…

Untitled

…there was no Bull in the field (there rarely seems to be when there’s a sign), nor…

Untitled

…any sheep, nor…

Untitled

…any horses. Plenty of signs though.

Untitled

Slape Lane.

Untitled

Every time I climb Hutton Roof via Lancelot Clark Storth I seem to follow a different route. This time was no exception.

When I first spotted this…

Untitled

…from below, I thought that it was quite tall, perhaps some sort of tower, but it seemed to shrink as I approached. I assume that it’s a charcoal burners’ kiln.

It’s quite easy to get lost on Hutton Roof and I was glad to spot a series of small signs marking the route of an Audio Trail which I shall have to try some time.

The signs led me to this bench…

Untitled

…which, despite many visits, I’ve never encountered before.

What with the sunshine, and the flask of hot water and makings of a brew in my rucksack, I could hardly resist such an invitation to stop. Especially since the views had opened out behind me…

P1170737

The distant, snowy hills of the Lake District.

P1170742

Humphrey Head, Arnside Knott, Eaves Wood.

P1170743

From a little higher up – the Lakeland Fells again, but also Farleton Fell on the right.

Just short of the top, there’s a small enclosure of solar panels.

Untitled

Does the fence stop them escaping?

Given that this is a nature reserve I can’t imagine that any kind of large scale commercial operation is envisaged, so I wonder what is going on here?

The summit of Hutton Roof Crags has expansive views, despite it’s modest height. On this occasion, the Bowland hills were smothered by very black looking clouds, which looked a bit ominous. Ingleborough was also hidden by clouds. I thought maybe it was raining in that direction…

P1170756

P1170747

The Middleton Fells.

P1170748

Howgills.

P1170749

Lakeland Hills and Whitbarrow Scar.

P1170750

Warton Crag and Morecambe Bay.

The path down towards the Clawthorpe Road dipped into hollows and between stands of shrubs and dense thickets of Gorse. I kept losing my view of the Bay and the sinking sun and rushed between each vantage point, taking photos at every opportunity.

P1170754

More impressive than the sunset itself was the way the underside of the clouds over the Lake District took on a warm orange glow…

P1170758

There’s room for quite a few cars to park around the top of the Clawthorpe Road and many of those spaces were still occupied. I was quite surprised, but then realised that there were a few other people out photographing the sunset. Some had come better prepared than me, with tripods.

P1170760

Heading down the hill, I was thinking that there’s still a lot of this ridge – Hutton Roof and Farleton Fell – that I haven’t explored. So plenty of excuse to come back.

P1170764

The paths had generally been wet and muddy, but the last section of track, with a barbed wire fence on either side, had vast puddles stretching right across it. I had little choice but to splash through them and my feet got a little damp, but it was a small price to pay.

Untitled

Untitled

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 21.50.59.png

Slightly under 8 miles with 240m of ascent. Not bad after a late start on a short winter afternoon.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 23.17.14.png

 

Hutton Roof Crags from Holme

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

image

On Thursday I had a parents’ evening, so had a couple of hours between finishing teaching and starting work again. I was eating my tea in the staffroom (very nice if I do say so myself: coronation chicken and a couple of salads) when I noticed that the light coming through the windows was glorious. I rushed up to Castle Hill but was too late for the sunset.

Castle Hill has a good view across Morecambe to the bay and the hills of the Lake District beyond, but it also has a fine view across the town.

Untitled

Here’s the view again, but this time from Friday lunchtime.

Untitled

You can make out three prominent tall buildings: the Ashton Memorial almost hidden by the branches of the tree, the tall spire of the Cathedral and the clock tower of the Town Hall. All of those are listed buildings as are pretty much all of the houses in the area around the Castle.

Untitled

Because time was short, I cut my usual route short, leaving out the canal, which gave me a chance to visit the Town Hall, where the low light was challenging for photography. The next day, I went back, but now the very bright sun was behind the building, which didn’t help much either.

Untitled

Pretty grand isn’t it? Quite nice inside too. It was built in the early part of the Twentieth Century and was designed by Edward Mountford, who also designed the Old Bailey. Apparently this is in the Edwardian Baroque style which he was noted for. That’s Edward VII in the middle of the carved figures. His mum is commemorated in the statue in Dalton Square in front of the town hall…

Untitled

The statue is from 1906 and is also listed, but there’s a lot of detail here to photograph, so I’ll come back another time.

That’s it for last week’s Lancaster strolls, except for the fact that I almost forgot the best moment: on Thursday lunchtime, when the sun was shining, I’d just joined the canal towpath when an unmistakable metallic green sheen, not dissimilar to the verdigris on Queen Vic only shinier, alerted me to a Kingfisher flying low over the water. First one I’ve seen in a couple of years. Marvellous.

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

When Saturday Comes

P1170698

Hawes Water.

All week, the forecast was generally for pretty poor weather and usually proved to be accurate. But scanning through the icons for the days ahead, Saturday stood out. Sunshine predicted and lots of it; something to look forward to. Then, towards the end of the week, a dreaded downgrade, and now Saturday would be cloudy, but still with the prospect of some sunny spells. Except, when Saturday actually arrived, the much anticipated decent weather didn’t appear in tandem. It was raining again.

Towards the end of the afternoon, things began to brighten a little. TBH and I decided to take a punt and get out while the getting was good. We walked through Eaves Wood to Hawes Water, stopping when we met a friend from the village, to bemoan the weather and the exceptionally muddy state of the paths: every step was a squelch, or a slop, or a splatter, or a slither, or a splash. Conditions which TBH, a native of County Durham, describes as ‘clarty’.

P1170700

Large ‘puddle’ in a field by The Row.

Then, quite suddenly, a few odd patches of blue clubbed together and somewhat surprisingly we had clear skies. Presumably, this was the clear spell which had originally been expected to arrive a little earlier.

P1170703

Late mist.

We stopped again on The Row for a longer chat with another friend and former neighbour. He was advocating early retirement and wild-camping (i.e. roadside) in a camper-van, not that I need much persuading on either count.

It was already well past sunset by the time we got home. TBH wanted a cup of tea and had marking to get on with; I couldn’t resist the light and took a short turn around The Cove and The Lots to round off the walk.

P1170704

It was a bit darker than this picture suggests. I spoke briefly to a couple who told me that they had been ‘getting high’ on the light and the colours in the sky. And why not.

When Saturday Comes

An ¡Ándale! Walk

P1170566

Look at that sky!

When we got back from Underley, I was keen to get out for another walk whilst the daylight and the good weather lasted. I fancied one of my favourite local routes from last year, which takes in Eaves Wood, Hawes Water, Yealand Allotment and Leighton Moss. I usually walk it clockwise, in that order, but it occurred to me that the path ’round the back’ of Leighton Moss might still be flooded, so went widdershins so that I could ask at the visitor centre. Which I did. I was assured that all of the paths around the reserve were open, by a volunteer, well-intentioned I’m sure, who may have been distracted by the fact that he was just about to go on his break.

Pheasants…

P1170564

…are daft creatures, apt to stay hidden until you’re almost standing on them and then burst out in a flurry of wings and calls, leaving you every bit as flustered as they clearly are. But this hen pheasant was one of several I saw last Sunday which were apparently completely sanguine about my presence.

The meres (and paths) were partially frozen over still…

P1170567

I wondered what had caused these strange undulations and gouges in the ice in front of the public hide…

P1170572

There were lots of ducks in evidence. Mainly Shovelers, Teal and Pintails. Judging by the reactions of the proper birders who were about, the Pintails are the most exciting of these.

P1170569

P1170580

I walked around to Lower Hide. The path was pretty wet and the last bit was iced over and decidedly treacherous.

P1170589

Teal on the ice.

The onward path from there was barred with a notice saying it was closed because it was flooded. I went past it anyway, as I am wont to do. But not very far. It was flooded. Oh….blast!

Time’s winged chariot was hurtling on, as it is wont to do, the sun was low in the sky…

P1170591

…and my plan was thwarted. What to do?

I contemplated the possibilities as I wandered back to the visitor centre.

P1170592

Stopping briefly again at the public hide for another gander. There were cygnets…

P1170593

And…a willow?…catching the lovely light.

P1170596

And Black-headed gulls briefly launching into the air before making shallow dives into the water. I wonder what they were after?

P1170598

I’d heard several people discussing the Starling murmuration, and since, slightly ridiculously, its several years since I’ve been at the Moss to witness that, one possibility was to wait to watch that. It seemed to me that the other sensible option would be to head down towards Quaker’s Stang and Quicksand Pool to catch the sunset. I chose the latter. But that meant a stretch of road-walking and a need for speed to find a good vantage point before it was too late.

So, I was in the unusual position of being in a hurry on one of my walks. Which is what made me think of Speedy Gonzales and “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!”. (Well that and the fact that ‘An ¡Ándale! Walk’ follows on quite satisfyingly from ‘An Underley Walk’.)

P1170602

Quicksand Pool.

P1170604

Little Egret.

P1170607

Sunset from Quaker’s Stang.

Recent high tides had left a series of pools across the saltmarsh, making a nice foreground as the sun dropped into the Bay.

P1170612

By the time I’d crossed the Stang and was back by Quicksand Pool, the sun had gone.

P1170614

But again…

P1170616

…it was great to be out in the gloaming, enjoying a subtle light-show…

P1170617

The land reclamation wall at Jenny Brown’s Point.

P1170621

 From near Gibraltar Farm and The Wolfhouse.

An ¡Ándale! Walk